Korean news website ETnews (via The Android Soul), reported on Friday that Samsung is investing in improvements to both its facial recognition and iris scanning technologies for the Galaxy S9. Based on the translation from ETnews, Samsung’s goal is to “increase iris recognition and face recognition speed while maintaining the same basic parts specification and structure as the previous one.”
An anonymous source noted that “there may be new add-ons through software applications” alongside boosts to the response speeds of the iris scanner and Samsung’s facial recognition tech.
An industry observer as saying: “It’s an attempt to show something different from the previous one […] in addition to increasing the speed of simple recognition, there may be new add-ons through software applications.”
The report doesn’t mention any hardware changes to the fingerprint recognition sensor found on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, with previous rumors claiming that the back panels of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will be significantly different than the ones of their predecessors.
However, while iris scanning is not as fast as other biometric systems, it’s a good deal more secure than some facial scanning technology that can be tricked with decent photos of a user. So if Samsung can improve the speed of its iris scanner and related biometric features, it could offer a strong security feature that’s as easy to use and as snappy as Apple’s Face ID.
Apart from repositioning the sensor, the company may also opt to change its shape, size, or both. The location of the fingerprint scanner was one of the few gripes reviewers and consumers had with the Galaxy S8 series which was otherwise widely praised and while Samsung opted to space out the sensor from the camera setup of the Galaxy Note 8 to account for some of the criticism, some users still found the two to be too close to each other for swift and flawless operation.
The latest report from Samsung’s home country also indicates that the OEM may do a more thorough job of implementing biometric authentication into its default system apps, thus offering consumers with more options on how to verify their identities while using various mobile services.
Reports of Samsung developing a more comprehensive facial recognition solution akin to Apple’s FaceID that debuted with the iPhone X have also been circulating the industry in recent weeks, though it’s unlikely that the tech giant will have enough time to commercialize such a robust system in time for the Galaxy S9 series that’s expected to launch in early 2018.
Samsung’s iris authentication is understood to be part of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, with the company presumably also seeking to improve it in terms of speed while still retaining the same level of security.